pledges not to relax monitoring of children's social care
CHILDREN'S social work
teams in Liverpool will continue to have regular contact with
young people being cared for by private fostering and
residential care providers; despite the Government relaxing the
law during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coronavirus Act made changes to the Children Act that have
relaxed quality assurance and requirements for monitoring
private, non-Local Authority providers until 25 September 2020,
at the earliest.
It has removed enforceable, statutory deadlines for visits to
young people, care home inspections, case planning and reviews;
as well as cancelling the need for fostering and adoption panels
to approve carers and hear complaints, and the requirement for a
DBS check for carers.
Liverpool City Council has chosen to stick with the previous
legal requirements to make sure the most vulnerable young people
are getting the support they need and that providers are
After an initial dip in staffing levels in March due to advice
around self isolating for workers with health conditions,
attendance in the children's social work team has subsequently
steadily increased, with ¾ currently at work; up from 62% 4
Over the past week, teams have:-
► Carried out 801 visits to 601
► 234 home visits by the Family
► Carried out 3,000 risk assessments
and management plans.
In addition, 35% of targeted, vulnerable children are attending
the Council's network of School Hubs, against a national average
of just 5%.
Councillor Barry Kushner, Cabinet member for children's
services, said:- "I would like to pay tribute to our staff
who are going over and above; even more so than usual; in these
unprecedented times, enabling us to continue to provide services
for vulnerable young people. The Children Act was enacted for
the benefit and the protection of children, not services or
private agencies. This means the amendments made are to the
benefit of agencies and not children. By reducing the
requirements and quality assurance arrangements for private
fostering and residential care agencies to Local Authorities,
the amendment is relaxing the regulatory environment that
agencies operate in, and the safeguarding of children. My view
is that there was no need to relax these regulations and
Liverpool will work in accordance with original regulations in
the Children Act and will not relax the quality and the
safeguarding of children in our care. We are maintaining
timescales for statutory visits, the fostering panel continues
to meet through video conferencing and no foster carer will be
approved without a DBS check. It is what our young people need
to keep them safe."
self employed to get ready to make their claims
THIS week, HM Revenue
and Customs (HMRC) will start contacting around 3 and a ½
million customers who may be eligible for the Government's Self
employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to explain the
application process and help them get ready to make a claim.
The claims service opens, on Wednesday, 13 May 2020, and is
being delivered ahead of schedule, with payments reaching bank
accounts, by 25 May 2020, or 6 working days after the claim is
The scheme will benefit self employed individuals or those in a
partnership whose business has been adversely affected
by Coronavirus, covering most people who get at least ½ of
their income from self employment. SEISS is a temporary scheme
that will enable those eligible to claim a taxable grant worth
80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of ₤7,500
(equivalent to 3 months' profits) in a single instalment.
HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their
2018-19 Tax Return; and Returns for 2016-17 and 2017-18 where
needed; to determine their eligibility and is contacting
customers who may be eligible via email, SMS or letter. We're
also opening an online checker, from Monday, 4 May 2020, which
will let customers check their eligibility for themselves, as
well as giving them a date on which they can apply.
Customers are eligible if their business has been adversely
affected by Coronavirus, they traded in 2019-20, intend to
continue trading and they:-
► Earn at least ½ of their income
through self employment;.
► Have trading profits of no more than
₤50,000 per year.
► Traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019
and submitted their Self Assessment Tax Return on or before 23
April 2020 for that year.
Where individuals are ineligible for the scheme, HMRC will
direct them to guidance setting out the conditions to help them
understand why they are ineligible, and advice about other
support that might be available to them such as:- income tax
deferrals, rental support, Universal Credit, access to mortgage
holidays and the various business support schemes the Government
has introduced to protect businesses during this time.
We expect our phone lines to be very busy over the next few
weeks as people enter this new scheme, so are encouraging
customers to only call us if they can't find what they need on
GOV.UK, from their tax agent or via our webchat service; this
will leave the lines open for those who need our help most.
Total UK cases
COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region and
ON 4 May, fatalities have increased by 288 taking the total number of deaths of those
who have tested positive for COVID-19, by a Public Health or NHS
Laboratory to 28,734. The number of COVID-19 infections has
risen by 3,985 in just a day, to 190,584, the Department of
Health said. In England, there have been 126,346 confirmed
cases. North West of England has seen 20,428 confirmed cases.
Current Hospital Laboratory confirmed cases within the following
Local Authorities, in and around the Liverpool City Region are
► Liverpool, 1,467 confirmed cases.
► Sefton, 835 confirmed cases.
► Wirral, 1,044 confirmed cases.
► St. Helens, 679 confirmed cases.
► Halton, 333 confirmed cases.
► Lancashire, 2,920 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire West and Chester, 859 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire East, 925 confirmed cases.
► Manchester, 1,168 confirmed cases.
► Stockport, 888 confirmed cases.
► Trafford, 627 confirmed cases.
► Wigan, 775 confirmed cases.
► Bolton, 819 confirmed cases.
► Rochdale, 535 confirmed cases.
► Bury, 553 confirmed cases.
► Tameside, 480 confirmed cases.
► Oldham, 776 confirmed cases.
► Blackburn with Darwen, 337 confirmed cases.
These stats are according to Public Health England as of
04/05/2020. Last updated 5.09pm GMT. UK total includes cases
detected through:- "Pillar 2" testing (tests carried out by
commercial partners) and therefore does not equate to the sum of
the 4 countries' counts, which only include:- "Pillar 1" (tests
carried out by NHS / PHE / Devolved Administration Labs)..
UK total includes cases detected through:- "Pillar 2" testing
(tests carried out by commercial partners) and therefore does
not equate to the sum of the 4 countries' counts, which only
include:- "Pillar 1" (tests carried out by NHS / PHE / Devolved
UK Government Coronavirus Press
Conference on 4 May 2020 Video